Help me find my Fringe Reading Companion
December 14, 2012 12:11 PM   Subscribe

I just started watching Fringe. I'm only about three-quarters of the way through Season 2, so please no spoilers. What I'm looking for is companion reading material.

What I like about the show are it's dynamic character relationships and the very cool alternate reality stuff. I'm looking for books that are more literary and character-building and really play on alternate realities.

This is what I've liked that I feel have played on similar themes and have the right kind of balance for me between literary and speculative reality. They also have contemporary settings, which I also prefer.

Lev Grossman Magician books
Time Travelers' Wife
Connie Willis - The Passage

I've not liked:

Anything else by Connie Willis
Diana Gaboldan's series
George R.R. Martin

I've seen this. I like the gory, horror-y stuff a lot less than the parallel universe stuff.
posted by duckus to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'd definitely check out Iain Banks' Transition.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:17 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Might enjoy the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.
posted by meta87 at 12:45 PM on December 14, 2012

The Invisibles
posted by mkultra at 1:09 PM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Land of Laughs, by Jonathan Carroll.
Weaveworld, by Clive Barker.
Sacrament, by Clive Barker.
Zod Wallop, by William Browning Spencer.
The Gates, by John Connolly.
Charles Stross's Laundry books.
Declare, by Tim Powers, although it's not contemporary.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:10 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was going to recommend Declare, also, or many of the things he's written. One of his more recent novels, Three Days to Never, is sort of more along the lines of Fringe than Declare per se (though Declare is my favorite from him).
posted by advil at 1:38 PM on December 14, 2012

Wikipedia: List of fiction employing parallel universes.

I like the gory, horror-y stuff a lot less than the parallel universe stuff.
Me too, which is what puts me off Fringe.

posted by Rash at 2:03 PM on December 14, 2012

Oh, man- Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Not only is it set in an alternate version of Regency England (one that is very historically detailed), but it also deals with the realm of the Fairies, which operates in radically different ways from the main setting.

The fantasy/horror elements are much more of the (period-appropriate) Gothic variety than the more contemporary horror of Fringe.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:26 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for these everyone. I did read (and love) Jonathan Strange. Everything else here is all new to me.
posted by duckus at 5:36 PM on December 14, 2012

oh, I forgot to mention .. that I also loved Stephen King's 11/22/63
posted by duckus at 5:38 PM on December 14, 2012

If you liked 11/22/63, then you should check out Stephen King and Peter Straub's The Talisman.

Also check out Peter Straub's Lost Boy, Lost Girl and In The Night Room. Read them in that order!

Also, bear in mind that The Land of Laughs is actually seen and referenced within the universe of Fringe, in Season One, by the little person at the book store.

Oh! And while not 100% what you said you were looking for, you should also check out The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien, which was famously seen and referenced within the universe of Lost.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:59 PM on December 14, 2012

Philip K Dick had some trippy alternate reality wackiness in many of his novels, and I think he's strongly influenced Fringe. I'd check out Ubik.
posted by mkultra at 7:58 PM on December 14, 2012

You might enjoy Michael Moorcock.
posted by Paris Elk at 12:52 PM on December 15, 2012

Charles Stross's Laundry books.

He plays with alt. universes a lot in his short fiction, it might be worth checking out a collection of that. And the Merchant Princes series is all about travel between parallel worlds and economic and security implications of such.

Also heavily recommended would be Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley.
posted by Artw at 11:04 PM on December 15, 2012

This thread would defiantly be worth mining for suggestions.
posted by Artw at 11:05 PM on December 15, 2012

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